Y.S. RANA, CHANDIGARH—Efforts to increase the quality of education by introducing latest technology, India is creating new investment avenues for these entrepreneurs and investors, reveals a new analysis “Investment Opportunities in the Indian Education Market” conducted by Frost and Sullivan. Already home to the third largest number of startups in the world, the “Make in India” mantra has added thrust to the startup market in India.
It further states that increase in India’s gross enrollment ratio (GER) from 12 per cent to 21 per cent during 2008-14 though is an improvement yet significantly lower than the global average yet it signifies immense scope for enhancing education reach and standards. ”Startups present a great opportunity for the creative expression of business enterprise, and next generation entrepreneurs are keen to cash on the opportunities in the education sector,” said Senior Financial Consultant K Vinod Cartic.
He further added, ”They are feeling especially optimistic as the Government has been placing considerable emphasis on education keeping an outlay for education of Rs 3 lakh crore (during 11th five year plan) which is a massive 6.2 times increase over the allocation in the previous budget.
Despite large infusions of funds notwithstanding the number of people taking to teaching as a profession is not rising proportionately year on year. None of the States in the region is close to meeting the TPR and infrastructure targets set by the RTE Act. At K-12 levels of schooling, the pupil-teacher ratio still lags way behind the average in developed countries (15-19).
Only 30.4 per cent schools in Punjab complying the TPR lags behind even national average of 40.7 per cent. J and K is the best with 87.5 per cent schools comply the prescribed TPR followed by Himachal Pradesh with 65.3 per cent and Haryana 41.2 per cent schools complying the TPR.
“Intense competition has resulted in the proliferation of coaching classes. So much so, coaching classes have become an integral part of the non-formal sector of education in India,” states the analysis. Apart from coaching classes, the use of multimedia in schools has rapidly caught the fancy of educators, students and parents. Its popularity has stoked substantial business opportunities
for ICT companies that provide multimedia in classrooms on a contractual basis.
In the coming days, digital education is expected to play a pivotal role and does not imply that the human teacher will be replaced completely. In fact, the new age classroom will create more challenging roles such as mentoring and coaching for teachers and this, in turn, will generate demand for orientation and training. These new roles and openings will invite sizeable investor
participation. “Overall, higher disposable incomes, favourable demographics and online revolution are favouring the growth of education,” noted Cartic.
The study addresses some important aspects such as pursuit of excellence in research, innovation in universities, fostering quality culture in education system, quality of higher education, employability and governance and regulatory reforms. It also discusses the ‘Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan’ (RUSA) aimed at achieving equity, access and excellence utilizing standards in education both at university and school levels as well as issues and opportunities related to vocational education, skill development, e-Education, online learning and open education resources.